How’s your public relations

Foundation Partners why I partnered

Positive public relations can do more good for a business than any amount of advertising money spent.  Public relations looks at the “good” in us to do things, not for the profitability aspect, but for the goodness to the community.  That’s not to say that “goodness for the community” does not help in reaching those profit points.  There is nothing wrong with being “good” and at the same time projecting a positive image for your business.

And, it also appears to me that there is a renewed interest in profitable concerns reaching out and helping their communities become better communities.  I think it is part of a new social fabric of our nation.  I’ve seen it as businesses more and more sponsor teams in our community’s cancer walk, and in golf tournaments to raise money for charities, and complete staffs from businesses taking the time to help Habitat for Humanity.

Projecting a great image for your business and helping your community can also come from a good idea.  A couple months ago we told you of Jan Maloff, a funeral director in Syracuse, New York, who for 25 years has been collecting bicycles, fixing them up, and getting them redirected into the community for those who wanted bikes but for some reason did not have them.

Just last weekend, Maloff, with help from the funeral homes he works at — A. Dewitt Memorial and Ballweg & Lunsford — worked with members of the Syracuse Police Department and members of the Syracuse Teachers Association to get those bikes distributed.  This article from WSYR-TV of Syracuse tells how Maloff and the others were able to make life a little bit better for many by distributing more than 1500 bikes on Sunday.

Take a look at the pictures in the article. . . . people are happy. . . in this summer and fall of discord in our nation. . . .this type of “community goodness” can only help.

Funeral Director Daily take:  Funeral homes, especially in small communities, have always contributed to the community good when asked.  They just seem to be a part of the fabric of the community and are always there to help when needed.  It’s just who we are.

However, in today’s world, I think community residents are looking for more from their community’s business leaders.  Does your funeral home have a cause to bring to the forefront?  How can you “do good” for your community.

Like most small town funeral directors, I’m really proud of the community that I grew up in and was fortunate to be able to serve as a funeral director.  Our funeral home always offered “funeral related” public relations like butterfly releases, grief seminars, and remembrance Christmas programs.  This year we are taking it a step farther and sponsoring an event we hope to make an annual event that will honor our County’s veterans.

You see, the veterans in our community raised over $1 million in the last couple of years to build a Veteran’s Memorial Park honoring all of Douglas County’s veterans.  It opened to the public over the July 4 weekend in a low-key, COVID gathering manner.  The park is on our town’s main street and, much like the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, has the names of all 7,000 community members who served our country etched in stone. . . going as far back as Civil War veterans.  Our event, coming up on September 23, will feature plane fly-overs and a short program to honor the veterans for their willingness to serve their country.

Here is a short video on the Alexandria Veteran’s Park.   I know virtually everyone talking in this video and our mayor also speaks.  It is interesting for me to note, that I knew her father-in-law and was in Kiwanis Club with him.  He was a bombardier/navigator on a B-25 bomber during World War II.  He was also shot down and served over a year as a POW in Germany.  During the building of the park our community also learned of our county’s only Medal of Honor winner and of two or our own who still rest with their mates at Pearl Harbor in the USS Arizona.

Here is a short video of the opening of the Alexandria Veteran’s Park.  It was held at dawn on Friday, July 3, 2020, allowing for the opening of park to visitors.  From my point of view, it is moving.


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